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Lately, I’ve realised that the main reason I’m feeling so shit is because I’m not part of a group. I would be telling all this to an adult in my life, but unfortunately they either have their own kids (and I therefore don’t want to bother them) or they don’t grasp the issue.

Or maybe there isn’t an issue, and it’s just me being silly. 

At college, I have loads of friends. They’re people I truly care about and find funny, caring and relatable. Despite this, I still don’t feel part of a group. If it’s the fact I’m not on the orchestra, or if it’s the fact I never see any of them outside of college, I feel utterly separated from them.           

 I’m too scared to message them and say “hey, we should all meet up and do something during the summer holidays!”, and this just means I’ll feel like shit when they all go out and don’t invite me along.

I’m terrified that at A2, if classes change, I’ll be even less incorporated into the group. I’ll be even more of a desperate loner, awkwardly hanging on at the edge of a group.                                                        

 The worry of not being accepted even stems to the future. I want to be a teacher and a musician, both of which involve being members of a team. I want to do a year’s work experience before uni, but I’m too scared to ask if I’m allowed because I feel as if I’ll be laughed out of the music department.

Maybe my expectation of friendship is unrealistic for a person my age. I expect that friends go out every so often, have a get together and a catch up.                  Perhaps I’m just selfish, and this desire to be a part of something is my psychological egoism breaking through My otherwise altruistic principles. 

Who cares? 

I don’t expect this to be read, this is just an attempt to feel less shitty.

-A. Bluegown

This is my first book review, and I am in no way a professional. This is just my opinion.
MAJOR spoilers will be included so read with caution.

On The Other Side is a fiction novel by Carrie Hope Fletcher, published on July 12th 2016. The original hardback price from Waterstones is £12.99. She has a video (here) that answers some questions about her book.

I have been a fan of Carrie Hope Fletcher for a while now. When I heard about her non-fiction book, I was excited and when it came out I bought it instantly.
Therefore, when I heard Miss Fletcher was releasing a fiction novel I couldn’t wait to read it.
I wasn’t disappointed- overall, I really enjoyed the story and thought the writing was very cohesive. The characters were unique and complex while still managing to be believable. For me, they were vivid, colourful and alive. Of course, Miss Fletcher also included many LGBTQ+ characters without making their sexuality the plot, which is a rare occurrence even in 2016.
The plot itself was a twist on a very overrated (and overdone) idea: souls not being able to get to Heaven. Having a wall that changes and undulates as a living thing, a thing that can transport you back to where you need to go is very interesting and something I haven’t seen done before, and felt new instead of boringly familiar.

That being said, I was slightly disheartened when I discovered that each secret had unlikely elements. Obviously, this story is a fantasy that includes an afterlife- something that requires you to believe in something that some people say is unlikely.
I can allow myself to believe the afterlife part of this story, because afterlife is unknown and uncertain. However, trying to believe a dove can live for 55 years and somehow survive being covered in ink, paper inexplicably turning to glass (which somehow creates sentient images)  and someone being able to rip their heart out without bleeding and carry on surviving is too much to ask of my imagination.
I know that makes me sound like a boring an unimaginative person, but I just expected something different from this book. The impossibility of some features shocked me because I expected the book to be more mature. I think the most odd part of the book was the final secret- Evie burying her heart. I could not bring myself to enjoy that bit because it was completely inexplicable. Evie can still love her children and still allows Jim to kiss her. It confuses me as surely having no heart makes you unable to feel in this universe.
Despite the inexplicability, for a first- and a fantasy- novel, it was a very good book.
I admit I cried at the end and I know I will reread it. Sometimes, the impossibility is nice to get lost in.

I mean no offence to Miss Fletcher. I am a Hopeful and I have admired her and aspire to be half as talented as she is.

Feel free to share your opinion (nicely please) in the comments below.
Thank you for reading.
-Alice x